Bill, our parish priest is leaving,
Leaving for cathedral grandeur,
Leaving us for Peterborough,
Far across the Cambridge fenlands.
“They are more in need than Fernhurst,”
Thus the Bishop in his wisdom
Spoke, and wheels were set in motion
For Bill’s well-deserved promotion.
Years just six have now been numbered
Since Bill first appeared amongst us.
Would we like him, would he like us?
Coming as a total stranger,
Was he what our parish needed?
Straight from teaching in a college,
Would he have required knowledge?
Slow he took it, never rushing,
Didn’t change things in a hurry,
Never ordered, just suggested,
“Let’s try this,” you’d hear him saying,
“Maybe this way would be better,”
“Let’s hear what you think about it.”
Gently, gently, thus proceeded,
And he did just what was needed.
Treated people all as equals,
Never put on airs and graces,
Never swore or lost his temper,
(Not in public that we know of).
Filled his days from morn to evening,
Scarcely paused for normal breathing.
People came to hear his preaching
And his Sunday evening teaching.
Zeneca he spent some time at,
Chaired the PCCs with ease,
Gov’nor he at Fernhurst First School,
Weekly took assembelies.
Comforted, consoled those mourning,
Baptised babies by the dozen,
Married couples, thus performing
Hatchings, matchings and despatchings.
Writing sermons, words of wisdom,
Starting up all sorts of projects,
Alpha courses, mums and toddlers,
Luncheon clubs and Julian groups,
Meeting weekly for the music,
Striving for the perfect service,
Not forgetting Cinderella
Acted out at Harvest Supper.
Bill has been our inspiration,
Caring, thoughtful, kind and gracious,
He and Hilary are leaving,
John, James and Ben and Zach’ry too.
Peace be with you, now and ever,
Peace be with you and your family,
Peace of prayer and peace of pardon,
Peace of Christ and joy of Mary.